The Greek Speleological Society has recorded over 3.000 caves in Crete. Not only outstanding examples of nature's talent for interior decoration, many of them are also of great scientific value, being of archaeological, paleontolgical and historical interest. Man used caves as places of worship as well as dwellings from the Paleolithic era on. The Minoans began the custom of worshiping their gods in small palatial or house shrines, in sacred caves and in shrines built on mountain peaks and tops of hills.

The Cave of Sentoni at Zoniana. This is Crete's richest cave in terms of natural decoration. It lies in the district of Rethimnon, 13 km. west of Anogia village and 1 km. from the village of Zoniana at an altitude of 800 m.

The Dikteon Cave (Dikteon Andron). The legendary birthplace of Zeus (Jupiter), this cave can be reached by going to the outskirts of the village of Psichro (48 km. east of Heraklion and 2 km. west of Agios Nicholaos), where, there is a path ascending to it. Significant archaeological finds indicate that the cave was a place of cult worship. One can go from the village to the cave on foot or by mule or donkey, which can be rented from the locals. The descent into the fascinating cave demands some caution. Stalactites of various shapes adorn the lower cave.

The Ideon Cave (Ideon Andron). 20 km. south of the Anogia tradional village, on the upland plain of Nidas, on Mount Psiloritis, lies this sacred cave, where according to mythology, Rhea hid the baby Zeus from the murderous Saturn. Cult objects have been found here, along with statues and bronze shields and other finds now on display in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

The Cave of Eileithyia (Ilithiia). This cave was used for cult rituals from the Neolithic era up to the 5th century B.C. Lying 1 km. south of Amnissos, it was sacred to Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. Archaeological investigations here uncovered idols of woman in the act of giving birth or praying, figures of animals, neolithic shells and tools.

The Cave of Agia Paraskevi Skotinou. 22 km. from Heraklion. This very interesting cave used for cult worship both in antiquity and during the Christian era.

The Kamares Cave. Northeast of the village of Kamares (57 km. from Heraklion) lies the Cave of Kamares, established during the Minoan period as a sacred spot, possibly dedicated to the worship of the goddess Eilethyia. The wonderful Kamares vases, on display in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion were found here. Visiting the cave entails a 4-hour walk from the village.

The Gerani Cave. 6 km. from Rethimnon, this is a cave of prehistoric, paleontological and archaeological interest. Finds from this cave may been seen in the Rethimnon Archaeological Museum.

The Melidoni Cave. 3 km. from the village of Melidoni (26 km east of Rethimnon), this was used for cult worship during the Neolithic, Minoan and Archaic periods.